The Travis Co. budget, a new fleet of Mercedes-Benzes and 5 more things to know in Central Austin this week, Oct. 2-7

Here’s what you need to know to start your week in Central Austin:

1. Travis County adopts $1 billion budget, lowers property tax rate
County commissioners adopted a $1.05 billion budget on Sept. 26 along with a property tax rate of 36.9 cents per $100 of taxable home value. Although this tax rate is lower than last year’s, it represents an increase in the effective tax rate because of rising home values.

2. Central Texas toll agency settles dispute with MoPac contractor, will pay $21.5M
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has agreed to pay the MoPac contractor $21.5 million to settle disputes over issues that led to the project’s two-year delay.

3. Car2go is replacing its entire Smart Car fleet—with Mercedes-Benzes
The Smart Cars that many Austinites have grown accustomed to seeing on city roadways—as part of the car-sharing service Car2go—are being replaced with Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

4. More registered nurses added to Austin ISD schools
More registered nurses will be added to Austin ISD’s comprehensive health services program following parent concern over a lack of medical coverage at district schools. Seton Healthcare Family, which is contracted to provide health services to students by AISD, has agreed to contribute another $1.8 million to fund the recent increase of registered nurses.

5. Community pleads with Austin ISD board to support affordable housing in East Austin
Members of the Austin ISD community pleaded with the district’s trustees at a school board meeting on Sept. 25 for more affordable housing on the east side. The community members called for a resolution to be adopted by the trustees as families within the district continue to be forced out of their homes by rising housing costs. A resolution was suggested that calls for two- and three-bedroom units at a monthly rate of $800-$900 to be built on the district-owned Allan Elementary School property, 4900 Gonzalez St., Austin, which was placed on the market by AISD late last year at a minimum bid of $12 million.

6. Austin Public Health offers free flu shots to uninsured residents
Three clinics will open in October for uninsured residents of Austin and Travis County seeking flu shots. Austin Public Health is offering free influenza immunizations for uninsured Travis County residents 6 months of age and older and all Medicare recipients with a valid Medicare card.

7. Dell Foundation pledges $6.25 million to Jewish Community Campus expansion
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation announced a $6.25 million pledge grant that will match every dollar donated to Shalom Austin’s Generations Campaign, which aims to raise $25 million to expand the Dell Jewish Community Campus that opened in 2000.
By Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.


Early voting for Travis County's May 1 local elections opened April 19. In this file photo, voters line up ahead of the 2020 primary elections at Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 8,000 Travis County voters cast ballots on first day of early voting

Early voting for the county's May 1 election began April 19 and will run through April 27.

The Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin is one of the locations where residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Jack Flalger/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin vaccine updates: Demand slows as state begins marketing push

Appointments are beginning to go unfilled, and local health officials say demand has caught up to supply. All adults in the U.S. are now eligible to be vaccinated.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Corn Harvest opens in Leander; park, pizzeria launches social club and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Photo of two performers on an outdoor SXSW stage
South by Southwest sells ownership stake in company to Rolling Stone owner Penske Media Corp.

SXSW leadership called the sale a "lifeline" for the conference and festivals.

Photo of people receiving vaccines in a gym
Austin Public Health lengthens windows for vaccine appointment signups

Residents age 18 and up can now sign up for appointments with APH any time from Saturday to Tuesday morning.

Austin Anthem watch party
Crowds of fans converge on North Austin to watch inaugural Austin FC game

Breweries around Q2 Stadium in North Austin brought in large outdoor screens and new employees to host fans of Austin FC for the team's historic first match.

Austin Police Department
UPDATE: Loop 360 closed in both directions in Northwest Austin due to a shooting incident

Residents who live in the Arboretum area in Northwest Austin are advised to shelter in place.

Early voting for the May 1 election opens April 19 at a 7 a.m. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early voting in Austin opens April 19: See what’s on the ballot, where to vote

City residents will be making decisions on eight propositions ranging from whether to adopt a strong mayor government system to whether to reinstate public camping bans.

Austin transportation officials said April 15 the range of corridor construction program projects initiated through the city's 2016 Mobility Bond remain on track for completion by late 2024. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Several Austin corridor mobility projects moving forward in 2021, program on track for 2024 completion

Transportation officials said some corridor program improvements previously planned along Guadalupe Street and East Riverside Drive are being reduced ahead of Project Connect expansions.

Jack Allen's Kitchen will be at 1345 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. (Rendering courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
7 restaurants coming to Cedar Park, Leander; new murals to go up in Georgetown and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the Central Texas area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Photo of a home for sale
Central Austin housing market remains steep as area median home price reaches all-time high

Home prices in the Austin-Round Rock area have climbed more than 28% in the past year.